Figuring out the best GPU hierarchy is a difficult task, but it’s not an impossible one. With so much variety going on in the world of graphics cards, it’ll be for the best that we sort them in separate tiers.
Furthermore, the cards will also be sorted within the tiers, despite ranking them as such being a more demanding job, and as such, those rankings are definitely open for discussion.
To avoid overcrowding, only cards from the last two generations from AMD and Nvidia will be considered.
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Compared to the rest of the GPUs on the market, cards from this tier are considered to be more intended for enthusiasts who want to play their games at 4K resolution and at the very least at 60 FPS as well. Of course, there are also professional graphics cards out there, but they’re not really used for gaming, but instead for complex AI research or software development. These are GPUs like the Nvidia Titan RTX and Nvidia Titan V.
What may be surprising, is that currently, the best GPU that you can get is the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. Although its performance is not on the same level as these aforementioned cards, when put into a value for money perspective, the RTX 2080 Ti is the uncontested ruler for the time being.
Unfortunately, all these of these GPUs are from Nvidia, as AMD hasn’t been able to compete with Nvidia for years now.
Things may be looking up for AMD though, seeing how AMD is putting out its new RDNA 2 architecture GPUs later this year. There are also new GPUs coming from Nvidia this year that have already created an appearance of shifting down the entire GPU hierarchy.
|1.||RTX 2080 Ti||Nvidia|
Cards in this tier will bring you pretty good performance at a much more affordable price, although understandably, not as good as those the tier above.
Still, these cards are very capable of giving you stable 60 FPS gaming at 4K resolution, but perhaps not on Ultra settings. At the top, we have the RTX 2080 Super, which is outperformed by the RTX 2080 Ti by only 10%, but it comes at a much lower price.
From there, the performance drops are more gradual but still noticeable. Here we have RTX 2080 with a little distance ahead of RTX 2070 Super. From Nvidia’s Pascal architecture, we have the Titan Xp as a top representative as well as the Titan X and GTX 1080 Ti. This is where AMD makes its first appearance, although barely, with the RX 5700 XT and Radeon VII.
The reason why the RX 5700 XT is above Radeon VII is because of its RDNA architecture, although Radeon VII certainly makes a strong case for itself with its 16 GB of HBM2 memory.
And if those two AMD cards are taking a place here, it would be unfair to leave out the RTX 2070 and the RTX 2060 Super.
|1.||RTX 2080 Super||Nvidia|
|3.||RTX 2070 Super||Nvidia|
|6.||GTX 1080 Ti||Nvidia|
|7.||RX 5700 XT||AMD|
|10.||RTX 2060 Super||Nvidia|
‘B’ does not stand ‘bad’ nor ‘budget’. These cards aren’t either of those. In fact, they’re perfectly serviceable cards that will give you a good performance for budget-friendly builds. One thing that should also be regarded carefully is that in this tier, we’ll see the last cards in the GPU hierarchy that support real-time raytracing.
The king of this tier is the AMD RX 5700 which also was also a strong contender for the tier above, but didn’t make it. The RX 5700 has a good price point and is one of the best affordable GPUs out there right now. After it, we have the RX Vega 64 and the RX 5600 XT.
As you can see below, this tier consists mostly of AMD cards with some less powerful GPUs from Nvidia, such as the RTX 2060, GTX 1080, and the GTX 1070 Ti.
This is the final tier where you can comfortably enjoy 144Hz gameplay without sacrificing the graphics quality, provided you have the monitor to support it.
|2.||RX Vega 64||AMD|
|3.||RX 5600 XT||AMD|
|6.||RX Vega 56||AMD|
|7.||GTX 1070 Ti||Nvidia|
At this point, we’re at half the price of RTX 2080 Ti, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t game with these cards.
They might not be able to pull off 1440p, but 1080p and 60 FPS at high settings can be acceptable as well, depending on your preferences. It’s important to note that this won’t quite possible on some of the most demanding games and further lowering the settings may be necessary for 60 FPS gaming.
Here’s where Nvidia again reigns supreme with stellar GPUs like GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super which are closely followed by GTX 1070 and GTX 1660. AMD didn’t go missing here, although their performance in this rank is below par with their representative RX 5500 XT, both 4GB and 8GB version, coming decidedly behind Nvidia. Sandwiched between these two versions of RX 5500 XT is Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super.
Bottoming out the C tier we have GTX 1060 6GB.
|1.||GTX 1660 Ti||Nvidia|
|2.||GTX 1660 Super||Nvidia|
|5.||RX 5500 XT 8GB||AMD|
|6.||GTX 1650 Super||Nvidia|
|7.||RX 5500 XT 4GB||AMD|
|8.||GTX 1060 6GB||Nvidia|
Budget cards belonging in this tier are at the bottom for a reason. That being said, you can still get a decent performance with these GPUs. And even if you are on budget, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some hierarchy for you to decide.
Unlike the past tiers, here the top pick does not have a good case for the tier above. The top of D tier is GTX 1650, closely trailed by GTX 1060 3GB. Due to the previously imposed restrictions, only other members of this tier are GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050.
|2.||GTX 1060 3GB||Nvidia|
|3.||GTX 1050 Ti||Nvidia|
Final Words On The GPU Hierarchy
Although there are a few cards that could perform on the same level as quite a few cards from our GPU hierarchy, there are reasons why they were excluded. As mentioned before, only the last two generations of AMD and Nvidia GPUs were included. This means no cards older than 5th generation GCN and Pascal.